Monday, June 5, 2023


 Lately life has been hard. April of 2022 John’s voice changed. The neurologist said he had a stroke. I was skeptical and nothing showed on the MRI or CAT scans. I was told that it didn’t always show up. We went on with life but I knew it wasn’t a stroke. By March of 2023 the neurologist acknowledged that we were looking at something else and ran a bunch of tests. April of 2023 John was diagnosed with bulbar ALS. I didn’t know that there were different types of ALS but as soon as I read the description, I knew. ALS is awful! We are already a year in and John is declining fast. We can’t get things fast enough. I need the ramp last month, I am terrified he will fall down the stairs. He is falling and uses a wheelchair whenever we go anywhere. My last day at my job is the 7th, I am staying home. John got a feeding tube last month and I am struggling to keep everything together. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

What’s up?

 So much growth, following passions, homeschooling. Kids are doing great. Michelle graduates in January, Anthony is taking college classes at a local community college, I am teaching special education at the Montessori school Benjamin attends, Emma is about to start horse lessons, Larissa and Benjamin are taking music lessons, Larissa and I design and sew a clothing line that we show at local fashion shows, three kids love walking the runway and have done New York, Emma is going to walk on December 10th in a show. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Us Today

 Hello! We are surviving through Covid. Strange as it may seem, none of us have had Covid yet. This new variation has hit a lot of folks around us. A lot of classes are out for quarantine at my school. 

Looks like my school has found a new SPED teacher for next year so I will be able to pursue other interests. We haven’t been able to do much with our design company. However, one outfit made it into a Charlotte magazine! I thought it was cool.

Anthony has been in two magazines and Larissa several more. They are loving doing fashion shows a photo shoots. If you want to see Larissa’s page her Instagram is Larissamelville.

Michelle is doing great. She is a junior this year. She recently took the ASVAB military test and scored high enough to join. She is interested in joining the Navy. She has moved up the ranks in the ROTC program and has flourished in it. She has matured greatly! 

The other day she sat next to me and started talking about these anti adoption groups. She remembers her life before she came into care. She has looked up her dad through his jail time. She has looked for her mom but she is more elusive. She has told me that she has no interest in meeting with them. She says that without adoption she wouldn’t be looking to graduate. She sees kids in school who are living in the life style she came from, they drink, do drugs and are just generally lost. She says that would have been her fate. Funny, we were always concerned that since so many of our kids came into care because of drugs that we would have kids struggling with the same issue. That has not been the case at all. They are very intent in staying away from them. 

The teenager who doesn’t cooperate for pictures!

I know I have been away far too long. I think our biggest concern is Joselin. She has really pulled away from us and has found some new friends. All I can say is we are here if she desires to come back. We love her and miss her but she is on her own journey right now. Pray for her.

I know that there are huge gaps! If anyone has any questions feel free to ask. Have a good night and stay healthy.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Still Here!

Last April I told my school that I couldn’t come back this year, just too much going on and I can’t meet all my obligations. Well, new headmaster came in July to realize that no new special Ed teacher had been hired. She begged me to stay until they could find someone. I am the only special Ed teacher at the school. I said yes to the first quarter and then to the second quarter….. I am so behind! In everything..

Not to get political or anything, everyone in our family has the covid vaccine except for Benjamin (because he is too young). So far we have not had covid. However, we have been quite busy. Larissa started back to doing fashion shows. We decided to start our own design company along the way. Benjamin started back and Anthony decided to join. Last show Larissa, Benjamin and Anthony walked, I participated as a designer, Michelle was my back of house helper and make up person and Sarah watched and took pictures for us. We are doing another show this weekend for I’m Possible, a show encouraging model of all abilities. I am currently designing a piece for a woman in a wheelchair.

So, no time to post! Follow Larissa on Instagram at Larissamelville, our company Larfeldesigns, me at felmel1 or even Benjamin. Or follow me on Facebook. I can answer any questions or you can just follow our journey. If they ever hire a teacher I will get back to posting!

Friday, March 26, 2021


 Where has the time gone! I am so busy with kids and work. When I took the teaching job it was supposed to be part-time. Well, then they added special education coordinator to the mix and it became full-time. Now it feel like full-time plus! I have added a lot of kids to my load in the weeks leading up to our break. Montessori is a great place for kids who are struggling with the regular education classroom. But now that they have gone Charter two year ago they are having to meet all the federal guidelines for special education. I am the only special education person in the school, first year teaching, during covid, learning virtual and mix. It has been crazy. Half the kids attend school and half are virtual. Benjamin has been going in person since July, it is a year round program.

I love teaching. I don't love all the paperwork! I have kids from K to 8th grade. I am responsible for all my own curriculum and all the paperwork. I have learned a lot! Always looking for resources for materials. I don't like to teach special education virtually! I just don't feel that it is as effective. However, it may just be me and my lack of experience in that area. Some days I feel as though I need a computer degree!

My husband is still working from home! I think that has made it possible for me to work. Sarah is home as well and finishing her last semester for her master degree. She helps with homeschooling Larissa. The school has asked (begged) me to come back next year. I have concerns since John will be back at work. However, it takes two years to finishing with licensing so I have decided that I will work next year to finish my licensing and then stop. It just takes too much time away from home where I need to be and homeschooling Larissa. She doesn't function in the morning so doing evening works but some days I am just tired. 

I have so many kids who do not enjoy writing. One day I decided to have them write a short story. I told them that I wanted them to write down the description of their main character and I would paint what they wrote. A few had to be sent back as there wasn't enough information to paint it. In the end they all did great on the descriptions. Some have finished their stories and some are still in the process. It has been a great little project and a lot of fun. The headmaster wants to have an art show and put out the art with their stories. I said I would only do that if there was kids art as well. Ha, guess who gets to go into each classroom and give a painting class. That is my project for April and May we will have an art show.

I was real picky, if it wasn't described it wasn't painted. One student had her teacher and parents thinking she couldn't write, she wrote me a very detailed description of her dragon and master and had it very well outlined! Her parents wanted a copy of her writing since they hadn't seen the level of level of legible writing she had done. No more slacking in class for her.

Friday, February 26, 2021


 We are well, we are alive! I know I have neglected this site! I have a three week break coming up March 12th, I will update then! Promise

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Halloween, fever

Benjamin woke up on Halloween Eve morning and came to me crying, asked me to check his temperature. He knew he had a fever and he did. His prescription for the steroids is literally one dose. I measured it out and it wasn't enough! I gave him the smaller dose and left for work. His fever didn't rise but it also didn't go away. I left work and got a full dosage four hours later. I brought it home and gave it to him. Thankfully within two hours he was fever free and running around.

We had plans for Halloween Eve to do trunk or treat at our church and normally he would have missed out. Instead he was able to go and have fun. His fever did not come back.

Since we were not able to go to the Renaissance Festival this year we did a medieval theme trunk or treat. It gave us an opportunity to use all the amazon boxes we have accumulated.

Hundreds of people showed up. I think that people just anted to get out. We wore gloves and masks.

On Halloween Benjamin went to a few of our neighbors where he received huge amounts of candy because we had no trick or treaters so they were trying to unload their candy.